Personal Independence Payments

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:42 pm on 15th March 2017.

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Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 12:42 pm, 15th March 2017

Recent legal judgments have interpreted the assessment criteria for personal independence payments in ways that are different from what was originally intended. The Department presented regulations, which clarify the original policy intent, to the Social Security Advisory Committee. I welcome the SSAC’s careful consideration and we are looking closely at its suggestions.

Let me be clear. The SSAC decided that it did not require the regulations to be formally referred to it and would therefore not consult publicly on them. I believe it was right to move quickly to clarify the criteria, and it is clear that the SSAC is not challenging that decision.

I want to make it clear again that this is not a policy change and nor is it intended to make new savings. This is about restoring the original intention of the benefit, which has been expanded by the legal judgments, and providing clarity and certainty for claimants. I reiterate my commitment that there will be no further welfare savings beyond those already legislated for. This will not result in any claimants seeing a reduction in the amount of PIP previously awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions.